The stench of death
I noted your descriptions of positive press reaction to Joe Lieberman's Orthodox Judaism, in contrast to their denunciation of George W. Bush's Christianity ("Lieberman vs. Gore," Aug. 19). This is not hard to understand. The liberal left is not bothered by God. He is usually treated like someone pleasant but harmless, certainly nobody to take seriously, and journalists often follow that line. In effect, journalists are not anti-God; they are anti-Christ. The mention of God rarely causes a stir, but the name of Jesus sends them into orbit, for while that name is the sweet smell of salvation to those who know him, it is the stench of death to those who don't. Joe Lieberman's God is a nice human interest story, but the Christ of George W. Bush terrifies them. - Jim Kohlmann, Apopka, Fla.
On the cover of the Aug. 19 issue you asked about Democratic VP nominee Joe Lieberman, "Will his policy differences with the boss be a problem?" Then Mr. Belz notes that convictions are very important ("Two-way test," Aug. 19). Between the time this issue went to press and I received it on Aug. 17, Sen. Lieberman became a fine team player. I'm not sure that what happened can be tested by Mr. Belz's two criteria: Mr. Lieberman has not baldly denied any connection between his faith and his actions, nor has he had opportunity to try to implement his previous convictions as a vice president. He simply cast those convictions aside. By ignoring earlier positions on school vouchers, for example, and his criticisms of "the subway turnstile at the White House gate," Sen. Lieberman emptied his pockets of moral rectitude. I appreciate Mr. Belz's attempt to provide Sen. Lieberman a fair hearing. It is appalling that the winds of politics blew it away before the ink was dry. - Greg Leaman, Fort Collins, Colo.
Turned on a dime
The most appalling thing about the Clinton scandal was not the President's Oval Office misdeeds, his abuses of power, his lies, and so on; it was that an entire party, at their moment of truth, abandoned all notions of moral leadership. Connecticut's Senator Joseph Lieberman, banking on his reputation as the "moral compass" of the Senate, led the way. Many Democrats referred to Sen. Lieberman in saying that what the president did was "inexcusable"-and then turned on a cheap dime and excused perjury, lies, perfidy, and the squandering of the moral authority of the United States presidency. So Mr. Lieberman was chosen by Gore to mitigate the sleaze factor. Why not? It worked once before. Mr. Lieberman and I both reside in New Haven, Connecticut. There are many tilted gravestones here, probably because many great Americans gone-by turned in their graves after the deep disgrace was excused and facilitated by a hometown senator. - Joel Mark Solliday, New Haven, Conn.
Thinking of Sudan
Thank you so much for your articles on the plight of the persecuted in Sudan ("The silence is deafening," Aug. 19). I work for an organization that works with persecuted Christians around the world, including Sudan. I have not been to Sudan, but I have talked with those who have, and seen photos of the atrocities being perpetrated upon the Christians there. Thank you to WORLD, Sens. Sam Brownback and Bill Frist, Congressmen Donald Payne, Frank Wolf, Tom Tancredo, J.C. Watts, and others for their efforts to keep the Sudanese plight before the American people. - Bill Cullins, Bartlesville, Okla.
Regarding the Barna poll showing the alarming number of Christians who agreed with the statement, "God helps those who help themselves" (Quotables, Aug. 19): Some years ago I hunted for the origin of that saying. As far as I could tell, it is a garbled version of a saying from the story "Hercules and the Wagoner" in Aesop's Fables. One day Hercules, out walking along a road, came upon a cart stuck in a ditch. When the wagon driver saw Hercules he cried out, "Hercules, help me." Hercules replied, "Man, put your own shoulder to the wheel." Aesop's moral was that "the gods help those who help themselves." That story has come down through the centuries in pseudo-Christian form, but Jesus plainly teaches that "without me you can do nothing." - David Poteet, Blacksburg, Va.
WORLD reports that Lightdog stole editorial space on a General Mills CD with a circulation of 12 million, and then WORLD blames General Mills for apologizing that its editorial control was tampered with ("Nixing Scripture," Aug. 12). By your own account, General Mills didn't say anything against the Bible itself, didn't recall the CD, and didn't even insult the people who deceived them. The company just said it didn't advance religion-fair enough, don't you think, for a food company? - John Mason, Antioch, Tenn.
A different tune
In my library is a book titled The Story of Fifty Hymns, copyrighted in 1934 and 1939 by none other than General Mills. It relates how in 1934 nationally known radio singer Joe Emerson, having put together a morning show called Hymns of All Churches, asked his listeners who would be a "worthy" sponsor for the show. The audience picked Gold Medal "Kitchen-tested" Flour. The book claims that "a great many outstanding clergymen did an almost unheard of thing ... [and] announced from the pulpit the name of the program and requested their people to listen to it." Mr. Emerson received so many requests for the "inspirational" background stories to the hymns that General Mills agreed to sponsor the above collection. "Print them in a book that will be a fitting tribute to the program," wrote General Mills to Mr. Emerson, "and to the loyal audience of hundreds of thousands of people who have been listening to you each morning."
My, how times have changed. - Merv Reagin, Sacramento, Calif.
I received your publication as a gift and was sincerely looking forward to what I thought was a nice Christian magazine. I was completely dismayed when it finally arrived and I read the contents. I do not want to renew my subscription. - Randy Erockson, Sparks, Nev.
For a year now my pastor has handed me every copy of his WORLD after he has read it. I have devoured every issue and no longer subscribe to U.S. News & World Report. The format is wonderful, the articles are short and concise and easy to read. I now feel that I need to support your efforts by ordering my subscription. - Sandy Johnson, Romulus, Mich.
I deeply resent your near-blackout of Howard Phillips and Pat Buchanan. Contrary to the WORLD slant, American conservatives do have legitimate alternatives to choosing the "lesser of two evils" of "RepubliCrats" Bush and Gore. Mr. Phillips and Mr. Buchanan are fighting the good fight to create choices for conservatives. - Rodolfo R. Diaz-Pons, St. Louis, Mich.
We watched as the Democratic vice-presidential nominee lifted his eyes heavenward and addressed the Almighty in an attitude of heartfelt praise and prayer. The public response to his gesture was, by and large, one of acceptance if not adulation. So why has a schoolgirl been prohibited by the highest court in the land from doing the same thing before a football game? - Esther Lerch, New York, N.Y.
Born again British
Thank you for your excellent article concerning the state of Christianity and Conservative politics in Britain ("Two faiths colliding," July 22). Although it made me slightly homesick, it was refreshing to read an informed perspective on Britain. I would add that Sir Brian Mawhinney, one of my closest friends and the immediate past-chairman of the Conservative Party, is the senior ranking evangelical of about a dozen "born again" Christians in the House of Commons, having risen higher than any other since Sir William Joynson-Hicks in the 1920s. - Clive Calver, Wheaton, Ill.
Simple and unequivocal
David Reardon laments the insufficiency of Gov. Bush's response to Barbara Walters, "I'm pro-life," and posits 450 additional words which, in his view, would broaden Mr. Bush's base of support among pro-lifers ("An aborted vision," Aug. 12). But Gov. Bush's statement was simple and unequivocal. And shouldn't we affirm pro-lifers rather than critiquing them harshly ("he blew it") when all points of the catechism against abortion are not touched on in one's commentary? - Charles H.Davis IV, New Braunfels, Texas
Dr. Reardon gave up too quickly on Mr. Bush for not detailing a pro-life policy during his Barbara Walters interview. I would agree heartily with Dr. Reardon's suggested policies, but Mr. Bush will never be elected for having contrived the perfect policy. He will be elected because voters know that he stands for a right and good principle. - Carey Morgan, La Mesa, Calif.